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Leftover Chicken Thighs? Time for Shawarma!

This past Friday night we had friends over for dinner.  Unsure if they preferred chicken thighs or breasts, I decided to make a tray of each. That sounds pretty run-of-the mill, but I really did not have a full appreciation of how many chicken thighs are in a Costco tray. At the end of the evening I was left with 4 breasts and A LOT of thighs ( even though many were eaten!). I knew that I would work the chicken breast into salads throughout the week, but was unsure of what to do with all those extra thighs.

Inspired by the fact that I had some tahini sauce and turnip pickles in my fridge, I remembered that I had a jar of ‘Shawarma spice’.  Perfect!

I removed the skin and bones from all the thighs and pulled the chicken into smaller pieces. (Note: As I was cleaning the chicken there were bits of jellied gravy on the meat from having been refrigerated.  I kept this is the bowl with the pulled-sprat chicken figuring it would add flavour)

I sliced a large onion very thinly and fried in a bit of canola oil until dark golden brown.

I added the chicken and sautéed it together with the fried onion

I then added the Shawarma spice and sautéed all together, at times letting it all stay in the pan without stirring for a minute or two ( this allowed some of the pieces of chicken to develop that seared, caramelized ‘burnt end’ feel ( without actually being burned).

(Note- If mixture appears too dry- do not be afraid to add 1/4 c water at a time to moisten)

Once heated through with a few good caramelized ends, I placed the pan at the table (on a trivet, of course) with all of the trimmings that I could find in the fridge:

  • prepared tahini (taratoor) sauce
  • hummus
  • dill pickles (which I had chopped into tiny cubes)
  • pink turnip pickles
  • corn niblets
  • banana pepper pickles
  • salade cuite

I had also prepared an “Israeli salad’ of chopped cucumbers and tomato seasoned with lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper- a ‘must’ for any mediterranean style sandwich!

Of course we had pita ready-to-go…as for how to get it all into the sandwich, we all chose a different style and had a good laugh seeing whose fell apart first!

Supper was DELICIOUS and fun for all of us!

Next time you have leftover thigh meat…give it a try…you will not be disappointed.  (Note: I suspect you can do the same with any cuts of leftover chicken, just keep in mind that dark meat will be less dry)

Need an easy ‘ingredients list’ for when you prepare? Here it is 🙂

  • Leftover chicken thighs, skin & bones removed, pulled into bite-size pieces (keep any jellied gravy if there is any)
  • Shawarma Spice (we used ‘Lieber’s brand’ it was the best I have ever tried)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp canola oil
  • Pita
  • ‘trimmings’ (see list above- choose only what you like or have available and add it others to give it your own personal twist!)

Bon appétit!


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